NodeJS logging made easy


    How many times did you write logger.info('ServiceName.methodName.') and logger.info('ServiceName.methodName -> done.') for each and every method of your service you wanted to log? Would you like it to be automated and has the same constant signature across your whole app? If that's so, we're very much alike, we have suffered the same pain too many times, and now we could finally try to resolve it. Together. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce… class-logger!


    "The why" of class-logger


    Engineers are often perfectionists. Perfectionists to the extreme. We like neat abstractions. We like clean code. We see beauty in artificial languages other people cannot even read. We like manufacturing small digital universes, living by the rules we set. We like all of that, probably, because we're very lazy. No, we're not afraid of work, but we hate doing any work that can be automated.


    Having written couple thousands of lines of logging code only, we usually come up with certain patterns, standardizing what we want to log. Yet we still have to apply those pattern manually. So the core idea of class-logger is to provide a declarative highly-configurable standardized way to log messages before and after the execution of a class method.


    Quick start


    Let's hit the ground running and see what the actual code looks like.


    import { LogClass, Log } from 'class-logger'
    
    @LogClass()
    class ServiceCats {
      @Log()
      eat(food: string) {
        return 'purr'
      }
    }

    This service is going to log three times:


    • At its creation with a list of arguments passed to the constructor.
    • Before eat is executed with a list of its arguments.
    • After eat is executed with a list of its arguments and its result.

    In words of code:


    // Logs before the actual call to the constructor
    // `ServiceCats.construct. Args: [].`
    const serviceCats = new ServiceCats()
    
    // Logs before the actual call to `eat`
    // `ServiceCats.eat. Args: [milk].`
    serviceCats.eat('milk')
    // Logs after the actual call to `eat`
    // `ServiceCats.eat -> done. Args: [milk]. Res: purr.`

    Live demo.


    What else could we log? Here's the complete list of events:


    • Before class construction.
    • Before synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.
    • After synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.
    • Errors of synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.

    Functional property is an arrow function assigned to a property (class ServiceCats { private meow = () => null }).

    Adjusting it to our needs


    So far so good, but we've been promised "customizable", right? So how can we tweak it?


    class-logger provides three layers of hierarchical config:


    • Global
    • Class
    • Method

    At every method call, all three of them are evaluated and merged together from top to bottom. There's some sane default global config, so you can use the library without any configuration at all.


    Global config


    It's the app-wide config. Can be set with setConfig call.


    import { setConfig } from 'class-logger'
    
    setConfig({
      log: console.info,
    })

    Class config


    It has an effect over every method of your class. It could override the global config.


    import { LogClass } from 'class-logger'
    
    setConfig({
      log: console.info,
    })
    
    @LogClass({
      // It overrides global config for this service
      log: console.debug,
    })
    class ServiceCats {}

    Method config


    It affects only the method itself. Overrides class config and, therefore, global config.


    import { LogClass } from 'class-logger'
    
    setConfig({
      log: console.info,
    })
    
    @LogClass({
      // It overrides global config for this service
      log: console.debug,
    })
    class ServiceCats {
      private energy = 100
    
      @Log({
        // It overrides class config for this method only
        log: console.warn,
      })
      eat(food: string) {
        return 'purr'
      }
    
      // This method stil uses `console.debug` provided by class config
      sleep() {
        this.energy += 100
      }
    }

    Live demo


    Configuration options


    Well, we've learned how to alter the defaults, yet it wouldn't hurt to cover what there is to configure, huh?


    Here you can find lots of useful config overrides.

    Here's the link to the interface of the config object in case you speak TypeScript better than English :)

    Configuration object has these properties:


    log


    It's a function that does the actual logging of the final formatted message. It's used to log these events:


    • Before class construction.
    • Before synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.
    • After synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.

    Default: console.log


    logError


    It's a function that does the actual logging of the final formatted error message. It's used to log this one and only event:


    • Errors of synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.

    Default: console.error


    formatter


    It's an object with two methods: start and end. It formats logging data into the final string.


    start formats messages for these events:


    • Before class construction.
    • Before synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.

    end formats messages for these events:


    • After synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.
    • Errors of synchronous and asynchronous static and non-static methods and functional properties.

    Default: new ClassLoggerFormatterService()


    include


    The configuration of what should be included in the message.


    args

    It could be either a boolean or an object.


    If it's a boolean, it sets whether to include the list of arguments (remember that Args: [milk]?) into both, start (before construction and before method call) and end (after method call, error method call), messages.


    If it's an object, it should have two boolean properties: start and end. start includes/excludes the list of arguments for start messages, end does the same for end messages.


    Default: true


    construct

    A boolean flag setting whether to log class construction or not.


    Default: true


    result

    Another boolean flag setting whether to include a return value of a method call or an error thrown by it. Remember Res: purr? If you set this flag to false there will be no Res: purr.


    Default: true


    classInstance

    Once again, either a boolean or an object.
    If you enable it, a stringified representation of your class instance will be added to the logs. In other words, if your class instance has some properties, they will be converted to a JSON string and added to the log message.


    Not all properties will be added. class-logger follows this logic:


    • Take own (non-prototype) properties of an instance.
      • Why? It's a rare case when your prototype changes dynamically, therefore it hardly makes any sense to log it.
    • Drop any of them that have function type.
      • Why? Most of the time function properties are just immutable arrow functions used instead of regular class methods to preserve this context. It doesn't make much sense to bloat your logs with stringified bodies of those functions.
    • Drop any of them that are not plain objects.
      • What objects are plain ones? ClassLoggerFormatterService considers an object a plain object if its prototype is strictly equal to Object.prototype.
      • Why? Often we include instances of other classes as properties (inject them as dependencies). Our logs would become extremely fat if we included stringified versions of these dependencies.
    • Stringify what's left.

    class ServiceA {}
    
    @LogClass({
      include: {
        classInstance: true,
      },
    })
    class Test {
      private serviceA = new ServiceA()
      private prop1 = 42
      private prop2 = { test: 42 }
      private method1 = () => null
    
      @Log()
      public method2() {
        return 42
      }
    }
    
    // Logs to the console before the class' construction:
    // 'Test.construct. Args: []. Class instance: {"prop1":42,"prop2":{"test":42}}.'
    const test = new Test()
    
    // Logs to the console before the method call:
    // 'Test.method2. Args: []. Class instance: {"prop1":42,"prop2":{"test":42}}.'
    test.method2()
    // Logs to the console after the method call:
    // 'Test.method2 -> done. Args: []. Class instance: {"prop1":42,"prop2":{"test":42}}. Res: 42.'

    Default: false


    Taking control over formatting


    So what if you like the overall idea, but would like your messages to look differently? You can take complete control over formatting passing your own custom formatter.


    You could write your own formatter from scratch. Totally. Yet we're not going to cover this option here (if you're really interested in that, address the "Formatting" section of the README).


    The fastest and, probably, easiest thing to do is to subclass a built-in default formatter — ClassLoggerFormatterService.


    ClassLoggerFormatterService has these protected methods, serving as building blocks of the final message:


    • base
      • Returns the class name with the method name. Example: ServiceCats.eat.
    • operation
      • Returns -> done or -> error based on whether it was a successful execution of a method or an error one.
    • args
      • Returns a stringified list of arguments. Example: . Args: [milk]. It uses fast-safe-stringify for objects under the hood.
    • classInstance
      • Returns a stringified class instance. Example: . Class instance: {"prop1":42,"prop2":{"test":42}}. If you choose to include class instance, but it is not available (that's how it is for static methods and class construction), it returns N/A.
    • result
      • Returns a stringified result of the execution (even if it was an error). Uses fast-safe-stringify to serialize objects. A stringified error will be composed of the following properties:
      • Name of the class (function) the error was created with (error.constructor.name).
      • Error code (error.code).
      • Error message (error.message).
      • Error name (error.name).
      • Stack trace (error.stack).
    • final
      • Returns .. Just ..

    The start message consists of:


    • base
    • args
    • classInstance
    • final

    The end message consists of:


    • base
    • operation
    • args
    • classInstance
    • result
    • final

    You can override any one of those building-block methods. Let's take a look at how we could add a timestamp. I'm not saying we should. pino, winston and many other loggers are capable of adding timestamps on their own. SO the example is purely educative.


    import {
      ClassLoggerFormatterService,
      IClassLoggerFormatterStartData,
      setConfig,
    } from 'class-logger'
    
    class ClassLoggerTimestampFormatterService extends ClassLoggerFormatterService {
      protected base(data: IClassLoggerFormatterStartData) {
        const baseSuper = super.base(data)
        const timestamp = Date.now()
        const baseWithTimestamp = `${timestamp}:${baseSuper}`
        return baseWithTimestamp
      }
    }
    
    setConfig({
      formatter: new ClassLoggerTimestampFormatterService(),
    })

    Live demo


    Conclusion


    Please, don't forget to follow installation steps and get acquainted with requirements before you decide to use this library.


    Hopefully, you've found something useful for your project. Feel free to communicate your feedback to me! I most certainly appreciate any criticism and questions.

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